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Statement on Nagorno-Karabakh

News from Oct 09, 2023

The Institute for East European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin (OEI) strongly condemns Azerbaijan's military aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave on September 19, 2023, which caused several hundred victims and is currently leading the entire Armenian population of the region to a forced exodus. This brings in memory the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslim minorities of Anatolia a century ago and the Armenian genocide of 1915 itself, the first mass crime against humanity based on ethnic and religious characteristics. We deplore the expulsion of the multi-century Armenian culture from Nagorno-Karabakh, which is currently ongoing by the Azeri regime.

As an Institute, we understand that territorial sovereignty is one of the basic rules of international relations. Nevertheless, this does not mean that we should not condemn severe violations of the human rights of minorities, as indicated by European and international law.

These events challenge our perspectives as scholars of the region and call for solidarity with the suffering refugees of Nagorno Karabakh in Armenia and Europe. In this post-imperial world, we will stand against any efforts of states to trivialize human life and human dignity for purposes of profit or nationalist agenda setting. Our thoughts go to the victims of military aggression and their families and we express our readiness to participate in initiatives for the support of the refugees.

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